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Gail .
  • Gail .
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • United States


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Why don't we hear about third-party candidates in the US?

Does anyone else find it a sad testament to the USA, that Russia Today, a Moscow-based, Russian government-owned television station hosted and broadcast the 3rd Party debate? (RT.org, but it's available on YouTube)

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    Nov 7 2012: RT, is crazy, awesome, and crazy awesome... Yeah, it's sad... To be fair, it's also sad that RT's associate in Russia doesn't speak with quite as much candor about Russian politics ; )
    • Nov 8 2012: RT is Russia's faux news, always eager to criticize the whole world except the Kremlin.
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    Nov 5 2012: Maybe because those who have a distinct preference for one of the major party candidates over the other would prefer not to see a third party candidate divert votes from the candidate they prefer. So there is no groundswell of people clamoring for attention to third part candidates.
  • Nov 8 2012: "Why don't we hear about third-party candidates in the US?"

    The winner-takes-all systems on all levels favor the two largest parties. If the US house of representatives was elected by national popular vote you would see more parties in congress, also more diversity (atheists, gay people, ethnic minorities). The electoral college makes it hard for third-party presidential candidates to make a dent, even so, most presidential democracies only have 2-4 presidential candidates running in the final election.

    The "mixed-member proportional proportional representation system" might be something to look into for Americans, it's already used in Germany, which is a federal republic like the United States: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_member_proportional_representation India is yet another federal republic with yet another system, so is Brazil.
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      Nov 8 2012: Thank you for the links. I wasn't aware and am always appreciative of awareness of new things to learn
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    Nov 8 2012: Compulsory preferencial voting would fix this. And limitting political advertising so you don't need millions to get your point across.
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    Nov 7 2012: Third-party candidates? In the US?


    By the way, Russia Today is an interesting counter-source of information and at times informative as well. I am just missing this beautiful Russian-English accent as most of their news anchors seem to be native or bilingual speakers. :o)
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    Nov 6 2012: We do hear about them. Jill Stein was arrested for trespassing in the Keystone XL protest and then arrested again for disorderly conduct at the presidential debate site at Hofstra University.
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    Nov 6 2012: This is a manifestation of one of the dangers of democracy. The tendency for the majority to muffle the voice of the minority as if it does not count. (Tyranny of the majority usually starts with this).
    Majority of the voters are in support of the two main parties; so its like the TV ratings thing. Majority of the audience tend to favour a particular TV show and then producers bombard the audience with dozens of formulaic shows like the loved one.
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    Nov 6 2012: Better there should be a third team on the field for the final game of the World Cup, or the Superbowl, or the World Series. All the other competitors have, for all practical intents and purposes, been eliminated in earlier contests. At some point we want A VICTOR! By the way, there are more names than two on our ballots. I find nothing "sad" about America's election process when specifically compared to Russia's. We are free to write-in any name we want. Thank you!
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      Nov 6 2012: Write-in votes are not legal in my and 8 other states. They are not counted in two more, except that in one of those 2, it counts as "other" and in both of these two, there is no provision for selecting the electors, which makes them meaningless.

      When it is not legal for me to vote my conscience (via write-in), I don't call it a particularly legitimate election.

      Earlier this year, in my state, 220 plus democrats were thrown off the ballot because they sent their required ethics and spending reports directly to the board of elections rather than their political party who would then forward them to the same place for them. The Republican judge ordered them off the ballot right before the primaries, which then kept them off all ballots today. That means that every state and local candidate is running unopposed and they are ALL Republicans. How convenient for them. And THIS is America????

      Feels worse than Russia. . Feels more like a dictatorship to me.
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        Nov 6 2012: All those "Republican judges" were elected by voters who wanted them. Your state sounds like a Republican stronghold. If those candidates failed to meet the procedural requirements of the law they should have been kept off the ballot. Only those candidates who meet the requirements should be on the ballot. Legislate to have write-in names legalized in your state. We are 50 separate states each with individual characteristics and laws. If you feel strongly about an issue and cannot get satisfaction via the political process consider moving to a different state. What a great country! You are free to move to any state you prefer, or to any country. In a dictatorship you would not have such freedom.
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      Nov 6 2012: Oh, and I forgot to mention that my congressional district was just gerrymandered because so many retirees are coming here and any Republican candidate would face a threat.

      I'm not a Democrat (more of a Ron Paul type), but how is this NOT like a 3rd world country?

      Oh, I forgot another thing. Have you seen the long lines wrapping around city blocks and heard about the 5 - 10 hour wait to vote. day after day? Or how about the Florida situation where the election place shut down early. People stayed, chanting "Let us vote". Several cars were towed before it was stopped and the office was reopened.

      ALL of these places are in Republican controlled states, and ALL of these places are in urban areas where Democrats live. Couple that with false advertising about Voter ID (a non-problem) and mis-stated election dates in Spanish, and this IS a 3rd world country when it comes to elections.